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.RU and .РФ show healthy growth whilst deterring cyber criminals

The Coordination Center, which is responsible for the management of the Russian country code Top Level Domains (ccTLDs) .RU and .РФ, recently published its annual report which showcased the vigorous growth of both .RU and .РФ as well as highlighting efforts to combat malicious activity in the .RU and .РФ domain name spaces.

The main focus of the report was the achievements of the Coordination Center in 2016, namely:

  • The increase in the number of registered domain names under .RU and .РФ.
  • The significant increase in the number of accredited registrars for .RU and .РФ domain names.
  • The increase in the number of participants in the Netoscope project.

The annual report documented that, by the end of 2016, .RU had become the fastest growing ccTLD (with the exception of China’s .CN) with approximately 5,425,000 registered domain names.  This represented an annual increase of 7.6%.  At the time of writing, there are over 5,431,800 registered domain names under .RU.

.РФ also maintained its position as the largest Internationalized Domain Name (IDN) TLD with over 897,300 registered domain names at the end of 2016.  The number of domain names under .РФ increased by 3.8%.  At the time of writing, the number of registered domain names under .РФ had dropped slightly to 895,070.

The annual report also provided information regarding the Neoscope project.  This project was launched by the Coordination Center in alliance with Technical Center of Internet, Mail.ru, Yandex, RU-CERT, Group-IB, Rostelecom and Kaspersky Lab as a leading online information and analytics security platform for Russian domain names.  The technology can be used to detect, analyse and curb malicious activity involving .RU and .РФ domain names.

During the ICANN Singapore meeting back in 2014, Andrei Kolesnikov, the previous Director of Coordination Center, outlined the methods used by Netoscope to compile its database and spoke on the project’s performance in 2014.  In that year alone, 21,000 new malicious or suspect domain names were added to the database, and 8,700 of them were found to be actually malicious.  Of this total, 5,970 domain names were found to be distributing malware.  It was proven that 2,124 domain names were involved in spam email and another 882 were used for phishing attacks.

Andrei Kolesnikov also reported at the time that the number of non-existent domain names registered in Netoscope’s database was increasing.  Non-existent domain names are those deleted from TLD Registries after their administrators failed to address the concerns that had led to their inclusion in Netoscope’s database.

The annual report details that the Coordination Center recently welcomed the arrival of four more companies to the list of organisations involved in the Netoscope project, namely the Regional Nongovernmental Center of Internet Technologies, the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor), BIZon and the Central Bank of the Russian Federation.  Their involvement is aimed at strengthening the fight against malicious activity, particularly in the Russian financial sector.

Finally, the annual report noted that, as of 31 December 2016, there were 45 registrars accredited for .RU and .РФ domain names, with 11 new registrars accredited within the year, which is a record.


First published on Anchovy News: Anchovy® is our comprehensive and centralised online brand protection service for global domain name strategy, including new gTLDs together with portfolio management and global enforcement using a unique and exclusive online platform developed in-house. For more information please contact us at  anchovynews@hoganlovells.com